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RIM Beats Revenue, Earnings Estimates

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Research In Motion (RIMM) beat third quarter top- and bottom-line estimates Thursday on strong sales of its Blackberry smartphones, pushing the stock up 3.8% in after-hours trading.

Profit jumped to $1.74 per share from $1.10 cents per share during the year-ago period. Analysts had expected the company to post earnings of $1.64 per share.

Revenue rose 40% over the same quarter last year to $5.5 billion, and ahead of analysts expectations of $5.4 billion.

The company reported smartphone shipments of 14.2 million, slightly better than analyst estimates of 14 million.

RIM said 5.1 million new Blackberry subscriber accounts were added in the quarter, bringing the overall subscriber base to 55 million.

Going forward, RIM expects profit in the range of $1.74 to $1.80 per share, and revenue in the range of $5.5 billion to $5.7 billion for the fourth quarter.

Analysts had anticipated earnings to dip to $1.60 per share on sales of $5.47 billion in the February quarter.

RIM has come under pressure lately as devices like Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and Google's (GOOG) Android have surged in popularity.

Installations of RIM's operating system dropped in the third quarter from 28% to 22%, according to industry tracker NPD Group, as the iPhone and Android-based phones took away market share.

RIM was downgraded twice this month, as Gleacher & Co lowered its rating from buy to neutral and CLSA cut its rating from buy to underperform, citing competitive threats in the smartphone market.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

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